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FLORA  IND1CA.                                            87
fc also universal, but is met with in many of the neighbouring -families The
sepals always form a single verticil; and the petals, which never exceed six in num-
ber (in two rows), are in a few instances reduced to a single row by the suppression
of the inner series. In Magnohaceat they are generally much more numerous The
anthers are always more or less extrorse, but the number of stamens is far from
constant, being in many genera reduced to 18, 15, 12, 9, and even as low as 6
The ovaiies are occasionally subdefinite, or even solitary, and the carpels are some-
times dehiscent. The valvate sestivatio* of the petals, which, when present is the
most conspicuous character of the Order, is wanting in the Section Uvariea
The state of this comparatively little known Order is still very unsatisfactory not-
withstanding that it has received the attention of many of the principal botanists of the
day, noris it to be expected that the tribes and genera can be established on a proper
basis, till the species have been much more carefully and completely examined than
their very iwjterfect condition in herbaria has hitherto permitted them to be. Their
study, inddtfl', even under the most favourable circumstances, presents great difficul-
ties to the student of dried plants, from the minute size of the stamens and ovaries
and from the bad state of preservation in which the flowers occur in herbaria. Though
the flower* are often large, they are generally more or less fleshy, and in drying
become much flattened and distorted, so that the restoration of the natural state is
almost impossible. The determination of the number of ovules is, in particular a
very difficult matter, as the minute ovaries are always much compressed; and their
walls are so brittle, that the dissection necessary for the isolation of the ovules can
only be effected by much patience, and with an abundance of materials.
The number of species of Anonacecs known to the older botanists was too small
to permit of any great progress being made by them towards the proper circum-
scription of the genera. These were first accurately defined, and the species care-
fully described, by Dunal, in a monograph of the Order, published in 1817. At
that time only 108 species of t'ie Order were known, most of them very imperfectly.
Of these scauty materials M. Dunal has certainly made much; and his work, which
has formed the foundation of all that has since been done, has been well characterized
by M. Alph. De Oandolle as being a monument of talent and sagacity, considering
the period when it appeared. The 'Systcma* and' Prodromus' of DC Caadolle contain
no additions to the labours of Punal, who had at his command all De Cundolle's ma-
terials ; and since that period the Order has not been treated generally, except by
M. Alph. De Candolle, in a memoir in the fifth volume of the Geneva Transactions,
in which the additions to the Order, up to the year 1832, are reviewed. The num-
ber of known species is there stated at 204.
Much attention has, however, been directed to the definition and arrangement of the
genera of J.nouacecet in all the works which have been published of late on tropical
botany; and so many remarkable forms have been figured, that much greater faci-
lities are now afforded for the correct appreciation of affinities, than were available
to the older botanists. The works of St. Hilaire, Martius, and Richard, on Ameri-
can Botany, and the 'Flora Java* of Blume, have all contributed much to our know-
ledge of the Order. The careful analyses and excellent descriptions of the Eastern
forms in the last-mentioned work, in particular, have been of the greatest service
to us.
From the time when the number and position of the ovules was first indicated by
Brown as an important character in Anonace<s> in his remarks when founding the
genus j&tabotrys, in the * Botanical Register/ this character has been generally em-
ployed, not only for the distinction of genera, but also for the formation of the pri
mary divisions of the Order. But though the number and position of the ovulep *s
nearly constant in each species, and therefore constitute most important characters
for the distinction of genera, the higher groups thus characterized appear to us un-
natural, and we therefore tfiink it desirable to employ other characters for their
circumscription. Five aberrant tribes appear to be at once distinguishable by well
marked and easily recognizable characters.
The first of these, which may be called Uvarica, from its principal genus, has its